Visitor Welcome Centre Phase 1
As Prime Consultant, IBI Group, in association with Moriyama and Teshima Architects, designed the new Visitor Welcome Centre (VWC) on Parliament Hill, marking the first new building on the Hill in close to a century.
ClientPublic Works & Government Services
Located 'within' historic Parliament Hill
The triad of buildings on Parliament Hill represent one of Canada’s most iconic and historically-significant landmarks, dating back to the late 1800’s and the foundations of Canadian democracy. Phase 1 of the VWC creates a contemporary experience within the established hierarchy of design on the Hill. The wide elliptical entrance at ground level showcases its prime location while subtly fitting into the existing buildings and landscape.
Located ‘within’ the Public Grounds of the Parliament Buildings, the entrance was inserted ‘into’ the Vaux Wall, one of the most significant and valued heritage landscape features on Parliament Hill. Featuring the original masonry works of Landscape Architect, Calvert Vaux, the stones of the Vaux Wall respected the heritage datum, however the new portions of the wall were expressed with more contemporary tooling. Wood doors together with a layer of decorative metal were selected to be consistent with the heritage landscape palette, though executed in a contemporary aesthetic.
Enhancing the visitor experience
The architectural design of the VWC aims to enhance the visitor experience and improve security on Parliament Hill. The ground level entrance creates a secure entry to the West Block of Parliament Hill, the temporary location for the House of Commons during the rehabilitation of Centre Block. Throughout the VWC, building material selection was based on whether it was befitting the dignity of Parliament Hill, as well as characteristics of sustainability and durability. The interior design features a consistent palette – limestone, marble, white oak, bronze, and groin-vaulted plaster ceilings for a modern aesthetic.
As Prime Consultant, IBI Group was responsible for the coordination of the entire consultant team, which included over 15 sub-consultants. The VWC was also the first Building Information Modelling (BIM) project on Parliament Hill, and as a technology-driven design firm, IBI led the consultants through the BIM process.
The VWC was designed, constructed and remained fully operational prior to completion of the rehabilitated West Block, which opened for the House ‘sitting’ in February 2019.